By Paul Goodman
I wrote earlier this summer about the forthcoming Global Peace and Unity conference taking place in London next month - the Royal Ascot of the British Islamist calendar, organised by the Islam Channel, a TV station which has a number of fundamentalist and extremist presenters - see Quilliam's report on the broadcaster.
I described the Ascot Gavotte danced out each year between the GPU organisers and the main political parties, as the former aims to gain credibility, patronage, and muscle among British Muslims by manoevering politicians to speak from the event's podium - and linked to Dominic Grieve's GPU address, in which he read the organisers the riot act (politely, but firmly).
I concluded: "Theresa May's made a good start at the Home Office by barring Zakir Naik and Bilal Phillips from entering the UK. The final list of speakers for GPU has yet to be published. Part of the annual gavotte is backstairs negotiation between the organisers and politicians. Ministers don't have to make up their minds at this stage whether or not to attend."
"But they shouldn't lend legitimacy to people who support attacks on our troops, on civilians as a matter of principle, or incite hatred and violence - and who, furthermore, don't represent the mass of British Muslims for whom they purport to organise. If such people are on the platform, Ministers shouldn't go to the GPU this year."
Here's one of the Speakers: Sheikh Shady Al-Suleiman.
According to The Age, Anwar Al-Awlaki, linked both to Major Nidal Hasan, perpetrator of the Fort Hood massacre and to Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas Day bomber, was engaged to speak at a youth event at an Australian mosque. The Age reports -
"According to a director of Lakemba mosque, Ziad Ghamraoui, Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman was in charge of organising evening youth events at the time of the sermon. Sheikh Suleiman refused to comment. He would not say whether Mr Awlaki was paid and would not comment on the subject of his speech."
Al-Awlaki was spiritual adviser to three of the 9/11 perpetrators, and has been described as the number one terrorist threat to the U.S. Harry's Place has the story, and notes re Suleiman: "I wonder why he has been coy with the media. You can still see an ad for the event on one of Suleiman’s websites. There’s nothing hidden there."
This is a clear case for exclusion. If - for whatever reason - he's admitted, Ministers certainly shouldn't share a platform with Suleiman on the basis of the Australian reports. Oh, and a footnote: since I last posted on the matter, the video of Grieve's speech has been "removed by the user" from YouTube (try clicking the link above).